The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

“Miss Americana” reminds us of Taylor Swift’s humanity


On Jan. 31, the highly anticipated Taylor Swift Documentary, “Miss Americana” was released on Netflix.  The documentary follows Swift’s life and shows pivotal moments in her life and career. A film with a runtime of only 85 minutes, viewers are filled in on her perspective over major events in her career and why she decided to begin speaking about politics. Swift is shown reflecting on the connection between her and her fans. She says “There is an element to my fan base where we feel like we grew up together. I’ll be going through something, write the album and then it’ll come out and sometimes it’ll just coincide with what they’re going through, kind of like they’re reading my diary.”

 Swift speaks about growing up and how she lived for people’s approval, “but when you’re living for the approval of strangers and this where you derive all your joy and fulfillment, one bad thing can cause everything to crumble.” Clips from the 2009 VMA’s begin to play where Kayne West infamously interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech. As Swift is shown standing on the stage, a present-day Swift reflects and says, “I didn’t know they were booing him doing that, I thought they were booing me, for someone whose built their whole belief system on getting people to clap for you the whole crowd booing is a pretty formative experience.” She then speaks about how she was going to work hard and prove that she deserved to be there. During her 1989 era, Swift reflects and says that her life had never been better, but she recalled thinking afterward, “oh my god, that was all you wanted, you get to the mountain-top and you look around and you’re like, ‘oh god what now,’ I didn’t have a partner that I climbed it with, that I could high five, I didn’t have anyone I could talk to.” 

Towards the end of the film, Swift talks about her sexual assault trial, and reflects saying she was angry she had to be there, angry that it happens to women and remarks that  she didn’t feel a sense of victory when you win because the process was so grueling.

 The scene then switches to Swift talking about the 2018 Midterm election in Tennessee, where she says that her team isn’t happy with her right now, but adds “something is different in my life since the sexual assault case, and no man in my organization or my family will understand what that was like.” She posts an Instagram photo endorsing Democratic candidate, Phil Bredesen. Bredesen later loses to Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn, and Swift is disappointed. She feels really good about not being muzzled anymore, and she had to learn a lot before speaking to 200 million people.

While all of these topics discussed are vital to Swift’s story, perhaps the most important aspect shown in this documentary is her humanity. In a time where celebrities seem almost immortal and god-like, “Miss Americana” reminds us that Swift is human. 

The documentary shows Swift in a light that makes the idea of fans camping outside her New York apartment seem unnatural even through the eyes of her fans. Swift appears just like us when she wants to share her successes with someone. Swift’s humanity is shown while discussing her Mom’s struggles with cancer. Swift’s mom got cancer several years ago, and that has been really hard for her because of the incredible relationship she has with her mom. Swift says, “It woke me up from this life where I used to sweat all these things, but like, do you really care if the internet doesn’t like you today if your mom is sick from her chemo?” Viewers see themselves and their friends in Swift because many have had a loved one affected by cancer. Viewers also know the pain and worry that can result from a loved one being diagnosed with cancer.

When Swift talks about her struggles with an eating disorder, and says, “It’s not good for me to see pictures of myself everyday” Swift goes on to speak about how images of herself can affect her own body image and cause her to stop eating. The candor with which she speaks reminds us of ourselves and our friends who have struggled with body image or eating disorders. “Miss Americana” has allowed viewers to find themselves in Swift and realize that yes, just like all celebrities, Swift is just a person, and that is exactly what we, as a society needed to hear. 

Feature Image: Courtesy of Variety.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • AnonymousFeb 3, 2020 at 9:50 pm


Activate Search
“Miss Americana” reminds us of Taylor Swift’s humanity